The Small Business Relief Fund: Why We’re Doing It

Harrison Ruess is the Public Affairs Advisor at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Canadian small businesses – and all the people behind those businesses – have been on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. From creating new business models (practically overnight!), to implementing unprecedented health and safety measures, to revamped production lines to manufacture critical supplies, the innovation and resilience shown is truly impressive.

In fact, according to data from our Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, our SMEs have punched above their weight throughout the crisis in testing working from home, with 55.5% saying they had done so compared to 45.5% of all businesses. This demonstrates the can-do spirit that drives so many SMEs.

But we also know times are hard right now for a lot of businesses. According to the same survey, 50% more SMEs than the national average said they didn’t have enough cash to keep their doors open longer than 60 days without any revenue. Similarly, nearly double the percentage of SMEs said they had experienced a 20% decrease in revenue.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Government of Canada, created the Canadian Business Resilience Network to help businesses navigate the crisis and stay afloat. We’ve done this in a lot of ways, through advocating to government on behalf of business, relaying critical information about supports to our members, sharing best practices across our network (now more than 570 members strong in CBRN), creating guides and toolkits, and more.

Now, through the generosity of Salesforce (NYSE:CRM), we also have the ability to directly provide financial relief to businesses. From June 1 until June 12, Canadian businesses will be able to apply to receive one of 62 grants, each worth $10,000, from the Canadian Business Resilience Network Small Business Relief Fund. The recipients will be announced and the money distributed in late June and early July.

Small business owners put everything they have into their businesses, and these grants will help give a little bit back to them, so they can continue to provide for their families, their teams, and their communities.

And that’s why we’re doing it. We are all in this together, and by working together to navigate the crisis, we can all succeed together.

Full information on the Small Business Relief Fund is available here.

– Harrison Ruess